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Tax Prep for 2014

For many people losing weight tops the lists of resolutions, but it isn’t the only solution to improving your well-being. Start the New Year right by shaving a few pounds off your work load rather than just your waist.  With tax season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to get all your tax related affairs organized so you can enjoy a stress free 2014.

Financial stress is a huge cause of health problems such as depression and a weak immune system. Many people are afraid of taxes but they don’t have to be scary. Take all the precautions you can and be mindful of these pointers to make next year’s tax returns less stressful.

1. Save your Bonus for 2014

Bonuses are subject to payroll tax withholding. A slightly higher income can shift you into a higher tax bracket. Consider waiting until the New Year to claim yours, and avoid the payment of taxes for an additional 15 months.

2. Give to Charity

While the motive behind giving isn’t to save on your taxes it’s beneficial to know that you can. So do a little New Year’s cleaning and donate all those unused items; clearing out the clutter in your life but also enjoying a nice tax deduction too.

Additionally, Turbo Tax offers up some advice about paying with credit cards. Payments made with credit cards are deductible the year they are changed, not the year they are paid. This means, you have until December 31 to donate to your favorite charity and you won’t have to pay the bill until the following year.

3. Check Your FSA Balance

Flexible Spending Accounts allow you to set aside money pre-taxes for certain foreseen expenses such as healthcare. Use to, this benefit operated on a “use it or lose it” basis, but recently the rule has been modified and now employees can carry over up to $500 into the New Year.

4. Group Your Medical Bills

Medical bills may be deductible only if they total a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income (typically 10 percent is standard). If you can compile all your medical bills into this year, you may be eligible for the tax deduction.

5. Iron Out  Those Receipts

Did you know you can deduct any unreimbursed employee expenses and or any legal and professional fees related to tax and investment advice? Well you can! Gather all those crumbled receipts and cancelled checks to save more money when you file.

6. Don’t Wait

Finally, don’t wait until it’s too late. Taxes are not something you want to procrastinate on. So, prepare ahead of time by creating a checklist and compiling all relevant documents before April hits and everything gets crazy.